With 11,528 acres Lake Traverse spans 16 miles in length and covers a width of around a half mile. At 12 feet it is a shallow lake in which fisherman should study the contour map before boating as shallow reef areas exist, especially near the islands and in the northwest portion of the lake. Lake Traverse is on the border between South Dakota and Minnesota with both the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks cooperatively managing the fishery. The lake is also popular for recreational purposes and in the summer, there is an abundance of fishing, boating, waterskiing, picnicking and nature watching.
The lake has a good walleye population with a range of sizes from 12-20 inches. A good number of trophy walleye have also been caught on this lake. Along with walleye many fisherman enjoying catching Northern Pike, Bullheads, Bluegill and Crappie; especially in the spring. Bluegill have been on the rise in this lake with anglers catching some at over 10 inches. A great place to fish for bluegill on Lake Traverse are in the mid-lake rock piles. Just like its neighbor lake, Big Stone Lake, Lake Traverse also has a good population of white bass and drum fish. Both species are well suited to the existing habitat conditions and they frequently experience good natural reproduction. White Bass and Drum make for great table fare as there are a lot of great recipes to go by.
If looking for a place to visit by Lake Traverse, head to the farthest north end where the White Rock Dam is located. The dam forms Mud Lake and controls water flowing north on the Bois de Sioux River. Just past the northern tip of Lake Traverse is the town of Wheaton with around 1,400 residents. The town offers some great venues for dining and lodging. Moving to the southern most tip of Lake Traverse is the small town of Browns Valley. With only a little over 500 residents Browns Valley has limited dining and lodging options.
Lodging Near Lake Traverse
With no real lodging options in Browns Valley, other than Wing N Fin Traverse, most visitors will make their way up towards Wheaton, or across the boarder to Sisseton.
Wing N Fin Traverse – If you are looking to stay right on Lake Traverse this is a great spot. With two big lodges, cabins and RV rental sites. Wing N Fin has everything you would need for a great fishing trip or family vacation. They also provide great lodging for all hunting trips.
The Wheaton Inn – The Inn offers a variety of rooms, including a jacuzzi suite.
Traverse County Park – Provides campsites right by Lake Traverse. The facility is owned and maintained by Traverse County
Places to Grab A Bite
BJ’s Family Restaurant – A great place for a home cooked meal. 414 W Broadway, Browns Valley, MN 56219
Traverse Cafe – Hang out with the locals at this great cafe. 305 E Broadway, Browns Valley, MN 56219
Providing a few more options for food, this small community is all about the home cooked meal with great restaurants cooking up generations old recipes.
Country Corner Cafe – It doesn’t get much more home made than this. 1113 Broadway, Wheaton, MN 56296
Crandall’s Cafe – Another great cafe if you’re looking for some great coffee and a hot meal. 1016 Broadway, Wheaton, MN 56296
American Legion – American Legions always provide great drinks and conversations. 303 5th St N, Wheaton, MN 56296
Bait Shops near Lake Traverse
Ben’s Service – A great place to get inside information on the hot spots for Lake Traverse. 524 W Broadway, Browns Valley, MN 56219
Homer’s One-Stop – With live bait and a mini mart you can make this a one stop shop. 404 5th St N, Wheaton, MN 56296
Mark’s Convenience Store- Another great bait shop, the locals always provide the best fishing information. 101 5th St N, Wheaton, MN 56296